The farmers new pet.
It was a warm and clear late morning in the middle of May. I knew of a young man who had a keen interest in animals; a very good friend of mine. He was one that I could engage in regular conversation and laughter, and his name was Kyle.
Kyle and I lived next-door to one another in a block of flats. We were both currently out of work and living on the taxpayers money. This was mainly due to discrimination. In my case, it was because I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, and in Kyles case, because of his lack of work experience.
Kyle lived in room 218. He had just woken up from his sleep-in. Kyle was always a late bird; he enjoyed his long lie-ins in the morning. Kyle had reddish brown hair and green eyes. At present, Kyle was dressed in a pair of blue denim jeans and a black t-shirt. He opened the curtains to let the sunlight into his room. He then sat on the side of his bed, and pulled out a pair of white slip-on trainers from beneath the framework, which he put on his feet.
Next-door in room 219 where I lived, I was playing Sonic Lost World on my Wii U. I had short fair hair and blue eyes, and wore a pair of cream slack trousers, a green plaid shirt, white socks & black slippers. I was sitting on my sofa bed with the pillow against the backrest, playing through the first level in the second world of the game via off-TV play. Five minutes later, there was a knock at my front door. I turned my head to look at the door and called through.
Its open! I called.
The door to my flat opened, and Kyle walked in. He closed the door behind him and began to approach me. I paused the game, and put the Wii U gamepad down on my bedside table next to me.
Are you alright Christian? Kyle asked me.
Yes I am Kyle. I answered. Please sit down.
Kyle nodded, then he sat down on the sofa bed next to me. We wrapped our arms around one another and engaged in conversation.
So what have you been doing today?
Not much. Ive only just woken up, what about you?
Playing Sonic on the Wii U.
The Wii U? Crumbs, youre very lucky to have one of those!
Thats because I save a portion of my benefits every fortnight. And when Ive got a fair amount in the kitty, if theres anything good that I like the look of, I buy it with what Ive saved.
Kyle was jealous, but also concerned at the same time.
I understand how you like to save up for big things Christian. But shouldnt you be putting your money towards other things, such as the rent?
I do put my money towards the rent. That along with food, toiletries, and clothes.
And what about finding a job? Have you been looking in the paper recently?
Im not sure about what to do though, thats the problem. Just settling for any job isnt me. You see, I wish to be limited about what I do. But, I had found something in this mornings paper that may be of interest to you.
I got up off the bed, went over to the coffee table, and picked up the morning newspaper which I brought over to Kyle.
Have a look at this Kyle. Theres a local farmer whos looking for an assistant to help look after his sheep.
I know that youre very fond of animals, and thats why I held onto that one for you.
No previous experience necessary, apply within. Thats all the details that have been given on the ad.
Does it not give an address?
Its saying its a newly founded farm somewhere off Frank Perkins Way and near to the River Nene.
Then why dont you take it on Kyle? I can drive you down there.
~ ~ ~
As the earliest hours of the afternoon came around, Kyle and Christian were driving down Frank Perkins Way in Christians Peugeot 206. When we approached a junction leading into the driveway of a farm, we turned in and drove at 10mph; for that was the speed limit. Kyle and I took a look at the environment around as we drove through it. We saw the field where the sheep were being herded.
So this farmer would like to me help out with those sheep? Kyle asked.
Youre the one who wanted to take the job Kyle. I said. Youre not having second thoughts are you?
No. I really need this job!
Eventually, we pulled up outside the farmhouse where the head farmer lived. I stopped the car and put the handbrake on, then Kyle and I both got out. We walked towards the farmhouse together, and Kyle knocked on the front door.
The door opened a few seconds later, and an elderly gentleman in his 60s stood before us.
Hello boys, how may I help you? The farmer greeted.
Good morning sir. I answered to him. My friend Kyle here has come to ask about a sheep herding job that was advertised in this mornings paper. Have we got the right address?
Yes you have young man. And your name is?
Christian, what a lovely name. Please come in, the two of you.
We both wiped our feet on the doormat as we entered the house, and the farmer closed the door behind us. A minute later, we were both invited into the kitchen. The farmer asked us both to take a seat at the table while he went to the fridge.
Can I offer you both a lemonade? The farmer asked.
Yes please. We answered together.
The farmer got out a bottle of Lemonade, and two glasses from the cupboard. He poured out a slightly unequal amount of fluid into the glasses and put the bottle back in the fridge. Then, unbeknownst to us both, he drew a strange vial from his pocket filled with clear liquid; taking the cork off and adding a few drops to the glass with the lesser amount. He then put the cork back on, put the vial away, and brought over the two glasses to Kyle and me. He served Kyle the one he had spiked, while I got the untouched one.
Thank you. We both said.
Kyle and I began to take sips of the lemonade. Kyle of course, was oblivious to the fact that his drink had been spiked, for it didn't seem to taste any different from normal lemonade. But i would not have known for myself if the spike had tasted different, for I was not the one drinking it. The farmer then joined us at the table.
Have you had a good day so far? The farmer asked.
I certainly have. I answered.
What about you Kyle?
I havent been doing much this morning sir. I enjoy my lie-ins in the morning.
Well that might have to change when youre doing this job young man. Herding sheep isnt something you just learn overnight, and it can mean early wake up calls. Are you quite sure that you can handle that?
Of course I am sure sir. The main reason I took the job was because I had a fondness for farmland animals.
Well then, youve come to the right place.
I was less than halfway through my drink when Kyle had finished his. He put the empty glass down on the table. I looked at him.
Crumbs, that didnt touch the sides did it? I asked Kyle.
I was very thirsty Christian. Kyle answered.
You must have been with the way you just guzzled it down you Kyle. The farmer said. Would you like another?
No thank you.
Kyle had drunk the lemonade so quickly that he couldnt help but belch loudly. He covered his mouth with both hands though.
Forgiven. The farmer said.
Kyle then asked a couple of questions to the farmer.
So Mr. Farmer, how early would you expect me to be here if I got the job?
Probably 8 in the morning. And it would be very long hours that youd have to work.
Is there a dress code for working on your farm?
Not for you there wouldnt be.
I became immediately suspicious at the farmers answer. I could see that something was going to happen anytime soon. But no sooner had that thought overcome me, than Kyle had begun to feel icky. He placed the palm of one hand on his stomach. The farmer and I looked at him and began to wonder why.
Are you alright Kyle? I asked my friend.
Im not sure.
Youre not feeling sick are you young man? The farmer questioned.
I don't know.
Kyle was sure that something wasnt right, but he daren't make any random suspicions as to what might have happened. Whatever it was however, he needed to answer to it.
Have you got a bathroom please?
Yes; just down the hall, first door on the right.
Kyle jumped from his seat and went straight for the bathroom in double quick time, closing the door behind him. There was no lock on the door, as the farmer was the only one who lived in the house and so didnt require it.
Kyle began to feel itchy as he headed over to the bathroom mirror, he itched his stomach where he was previously feeling icky and even felt something growing beneath his shirt. He lifted up his shirt and looked at his chest, some black and white hair was slowly growing on his stomach. This frightened Kyle who pulled off his shirt quickly and tossed it on the floor. The hair began to grow quicker with the open air getting to it.
What is the meaning of this? Kyle asked himself.
Kyle checked the mirror again and saw that his head was beginning to change shape as well, the hair growing there too. His reddish brown hair was fading to black, and fluffy ears were replacing his regular ones. He looked at his hands and arms as white hair started growing on them too. I was just outside the bathroom door, but I darent enter and invade Kyles privacy. I just called through to him.
Is everything alright Kyle?
Kyle tried to keep calm when he answered me.
Im fine, I might be a little while though.
All of a sudden, Kyles vocals changed. He suddenly barked like a dog. The Farmer and I both heard it. I addressed him.
Did you put something in Kyles Lemonade?
As if butter wouldn't melt, the farmer denied...
Not at all Christian.
In the bathroom, Kyle felt his feet began to spasm as they too began to itch. In a panic, Kyle sat himself down on the closed toilet top, took off his trainers, and saw that his bare feet were beginning to grow white hair. He tried to reach for the soles of his feet to scratch them, but his arms suddenly shrunk in size. The rest of his body began to shrink too; slowly but surely. As he stood up again, his jeans and underpants slipped down his legs and fell off by themselves; his human privacy had been completely transformed. Now, the transformation increased speed dramatically. Kyle was forced onto all fours when his changing body couldnt hold him up any longer. His nose changed shape too, as it began to lengthen. Kyle then felt a dog collar materialise out of thin air, straight around his neck. Within the next thirty seconds, Kyle had shrunk below the height of the toilet top, and was less than two feet long. The black and white hair had become completely dense around his entire body. He let out three more barks, for he had been transformed into a border collie. The farmer opened the bathroom door and entered to see his new border collie waiting for him, panting.
Ah, so cute. The farmer said.
You lied to me! I snapped at him. What is the meaning of this?!?
I didnt want a human, I wanted a dog to look after my sheep.
Youre a crook! I can report you to the police for this!!
I wont be needing you anymore, get out!
I picked up Kyles clothes and shoes from the floor; but before I left, I made a vow to the farmer.
Expect the next knock on your door to be from Peterborough Police!! And Ive got evidence to prove it!
Push off!! Ive got what I want!
I ran out of the farmhouse in double quick time before the farmer could get madder at me. And all I could do was leave Kyle with the farmer, now as a border collie.